The First thing to do is congratulate yourself, you are a normal human being!
In my opinion, if you never doubted anything, that’s really naive of you and maybe you’re too trusting of everyone, or everything. Perhaps you have been hurt or betrayed by someone, and your confidence in other people’s intentions has wavered. Perfectly normal.
Now when it comes to doubting things in the church, like doctrine or the prophets, that’s where things can get dicey.
Here’s a shocker to you, I sometimes doubt what things the prophets and apostles and other auxiliaries of the church say. And I am not ashamed to say it. That is because I am proud of the way I approach it; whenever I have a doubt, or I disagree with something someone at the pulpit has said, I remind myself these things:
1) I have a testimony of The Book of Mormon, and I have received a witness of its truthfulness by the power of the Holy Ghost
2)I have witnessed miracles, been healed instantaneously, and seen supernatural forces at work in my life as a result of me living the commandments, and the advice given to me by the leaders of the church.
3) I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, no matter how imperfect he was in word or deed. I know this because of the previous two reasons.
Sometimes when I am in the shower I question everything. Is this religion really the one that God leads? Does God even lead a religion? Does God exist? What if I’m just wasting all my time? And if all of this wasn’t true, why be obedient to commandments that were made up or that I’m told to follow by people who aren’t led by God?
That’s when I go back to my three reminders.
I even had to remind myself the days following a miracle that I had witnessed while on my mission. No one who has doubts should be ashamed, it’s in our nature as humans to be skeptical at times.
We read in the book of Moroni about those that have the gift of “exceedingly great faith” (Moroni 10:11). I at times envy these people. That’s when I tell myself this:
The story of my life will be one for the books. I was a doubter, and despite my human nature I held on as tight as I could to the rod of iron. I grasped on for dear life, not because I knew with absolute certainty that it was true, but because I hoped it was. I fought my way through all that Satan threw at me to make me doubt my faith, and I was wounded at times. I was knocked down, I was knocked off the path. I was knocked so hard I hung on with one hand from the cliffs that led down to the dark and murky waters. But I got back up. I was lost in the mists too many times to count, but I kept feeling for the rod, searching for the path. Because somewhere in my soul, my being wanted the rod to be true. I could feel a silent cry emanating from within me, calling out to it. And somewhere in my soul, I could hear the rod calling back. I know that I can’t know if the rod is true or not unless I follow it, and because of this, I will press on. Despite my doubts, my lack of complete knowledge.
“Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” – Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
That’s easier said than done for me. But I know my understanding is weak, and I know I won’t grasp everything until I take that great leap past the veil. So for now, I’ll rely on what I do know. I know The Book of Mormon is true. Because of that, I trust that all my questions, my doubts, my fears, will be resolved. And I study them out. I have books on everything from polygamy to blacks and the priesthood. I study it out, then I pray to know whether what I am learning is true.
Same with the words of the prophets. If something is said at the pulpit that I don’t agree with, I ask myself, is it in harmony with doctrine, and if so must it be correct if The Book of Mormon is correct? And if that is not enough, I’ll pray to know whether those words were true, and when I get my confirmation, I pray for my Father in heaven’s help to assist me in changing my attitude towards what was said.
I am on a quest to align my opinions with God’s views. And in order to do that, I cannot simply let my doubts sit and simmer, because that’s not healthy for me or my faith. I need to constantly reassess my views, keep up to date on what the Lord’s anointed say.
Parents, if your children say they have doubts, don’t be alarmed. Don’t react. Simply say “So do I. Let me know if you ever want to talk about them, I’d like to know how you see things too.”
Cool things to watch when you doubt:
BYU Devotional by Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy
Safety for the Soul by Elder Holland